Fine-tuning as old evidence, double-counting, and the multiverse

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The idea that there might be multiple universes with different parameters of nature is often considered an attractive response to the finding that various parameters appear to be delicately fine-tuned for life. The present paper investigates whether the appeal to fine-tuning can legitimately be combined with an appeal to independent empirical evidence for other universes or whether, as suggested by Cory Juhl, combining such appeals inevitably results in illegitimate double counting of the finding that the parameters are right for life. In doing so, the paper takes into account the fact that the parameters' life-friendliness is old evidence for us, which makes Bayesianism's problem of old evidence relevant to Bayesian analysis of its evidential impact. Ultimately, the verdict reached is that the warning of double counting is helpful, but that double counting can in principle be avoided. The paper highlights remaining independent challenges against the fine-tuning argument for the multiverse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-377
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Studies in the Philosophy of Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2-Oct-2017

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